Getting into my bible for the first time in a while. I dont think it’s always good to force yourself to practice faith, and honestly, I think it’s often better to focus on what messages God is trying to send you and THEN seek answers.
I’ve been reading in John. I like how Jesus is being extremely blunt with not just his disciples, but the Pharisees who would eventually murder him. I’ve never read this far into John, and I have so much more bible to go, but just reading the words made me realize a couple truths that I think are easy to take for granted.
1. Christ worked his entire life to prepare a way for the Holy Spirit to finish his work on earth, and complete God’s kingdom by making known God’s will here on earth and allowing relationship between mankind and God. That may not seem like that big of a deal, but Christ poured everything into his church, even his flesh and blood. It reminds me of fathers and mothers who work multiple jobs, all for the love and success of their kids. Factor in crucifixion, and I can’t imagine how great of a completion was finished on the cross. Its one of those things that is to immense to really perceive. I look forward to seeing it one day.
2. Christ is really good at speaking fulfillment over places and people who were emblems of inequity. In the very places people were condemned, he redeems them there as well. That’s a powerful testament to God’s ability to meet us where we are.
3. John 7:17 is the perfect description of the calling of proper teaching and faith over my life. I need to memorize that one, because it talks about just teaching being from God, and the discernment of the Holy Spirit in knowing the works of God. Of course God is the greatest teacher. It’s nice to have it tied up in a nutshell statement. I really need to commit that to memory.
4. Also in John 7, Christ shows self control by foresight in remaining in Gallilee before joining the festival of booths celebrations in privacy. He understands both consequences and proper actions in real time, and he prioritizes the will of the father in order to bring about just fruits from his actions. This was his entire life, from start to finish. I really doubt practicing spiritual gifts Christ was born with was easy. If anything, it would be the most hard, because you perfectly know better and must choose every time to be obedient, like a mortal man, but you also know the exact consequences for all that obedience: that all would live, coming into completion by your imminent death. Talk about being afraid to put one foot in front of another. Yet not once in all that time does Christ show fear. He shows sorrow and a sobering recognition of his own death in Gethsemane, while asking God to let his cup pass if he was not meant to drink it, but he knowingly obeyed the will of God. It’s one thing to walk into heroism rashly, because you know you won’t ever act if you don’t now. It’s another thing to step calmly into a certain death that your every waking moment led up to. He was entirely calm, and he did it all so that the entire world would stand to benefit, in free grace. That is what true leadership looks like to me: willingly, calmly setting down the “right” to sin/disobedience in order to work on behalf of others, that they might be redeemed. Knowing that all people fall short, I will remember that image in trying to understand what is and isn’t arrogance. Would you give away what you have completely for free? That is the truest test, because it was his last.
5. The people called Christ a prophet, but he was also the son of God. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that he retains the gift of prophecy by speaking the truth, it’s just that the truth is directly about him. As Christians, I feel like we give a lot of emphasis to how Christ convicts what was spoken about him, but he also foretells of what he will do and what will be done. That part is more important to me today. It shows that no matter what direction he looked, whether frontwards or backwards, he still had a perfect understanding of the truth, and that he would also die. To know your death falls into perfect completion is impressive, but to flawlessly see and perceive that since before the beginning of time. That is the spirit of love I follow.
Happy Friday! Blessings upon your faith.